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Tips for Efficient Errand Running with RA

Last updated: January 2021

So, the key to running errands with RA in a way that is less painful, annoying, and time-consuming is a talent, and one well worth developing.

Doing anything that takes longer and is more demanding physically than need be should be avoided. This is yet another tool for managing RA. The disease itself places enough demands on our and bodies without adding to it by being inefficient.

It all starts with planning

To begin with, it is all about planning. When I have errands to run, I literally sit down and make a list of what I need to accomplish and then I map out where I need to go to take care of the errands. I keep a running list of errands so that I am not running out just to do one, and then finding if only I had waited one more day, I could have done several more.

For instance, if I have an upcoming medical appointment, I will often combine running errands with that outing. That is, assuming the medical piece is not demanding or tiring like an infusion or a series of diagnostic tests.

Group together convenient or similar errands

Part of the planning is knowing your limitations for activity, so keep that in mind. I know that on the day I have an infusion, I will likely be a bit fatigued afterward, so I likely will not do much else that day. On the other hand, if I have a routine check-up with 2 doctors who are in the same office building, I will try to make the appointments back-to-back to save time and energy.

Some of my doctors are located quite close to places I often need to go to for errands like a dry cleaner, grocery store, or a pharmacy. So, depending on the appointment purpose, I might just do some of those after the doctor visit.

Try not to overdo it

Putting off errands as a way to be more efficient is not easy for some of us, myself included! I have a tendency to want to take care of any errand or task ASAP.  But, I have found over the years, that this is not a wise way to operate with a disease like RA.

My body does not like it when I am overdoing it and so, if I can be more efficient in the way I go about my daily tasks, then that makes my life a whole lot easier in the long run.  The short-term satisfaction of getting the errand done needs to be put aside in favor of the long-term benefit of efficiently going about these tasks.

List out errands based on location

It really feels good to be out doing errands and going through my list having planned all of the stops in advance as well as all of the items to be addressed. Lists are my best friend and I would not be able to do anything efficiently without them.

One thing I do with my lists is separate them by where I need to go. So, one list may be for the grocery store, while another may be for a pharmacy and yet another may be for a home goods store. Then, when the time seems right, I will map out the locations and proceed.

One word of caution is to not have too many errands to do at one time. We need to know our limits as to how much we can do in one outing. That one can be tricky.

The key to all of this is careful, measured planning. With that strategy, errands can be productive and satisfying.


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